Lancashire 290-8 (Livingstone 86. Olivier 2-36)
Derbyshire 265-8 (Godleman 75, Viljoen 50*, Slater 46)
Lancashire won by 25 runs
There was a degree of consternation on social media when Derbyshire won the toss and elected to bat today, but I was in full agreement on that.
For one thing, any help there might be (negligible) would have been there first thing, while we would then know what was a winning score.
We didn't help our cause with a couple of dropped catches, and the out fielding was apparently more sloppy than of recent times. 290 could and should have been 260, but we weren't at our best today and it cost us.
By and large the bowlers did well, on a fine batting track. I thought Viljoen slipped himself for the first time this summer, the rhythm was right and there were some fast, hostile balls. He could have had the excellent Livingstone early, Smit's acrobatic attempt getting finger tips to an edge, round about second slip, but Hardus had a good all round game.
Rampaul also bowled a canny spell, but Olivier was the pick of the seamers. His closing spell was in Langeveldt class, giving the batsmen little to hit, bowling quick and short and doing an excellent job. When the batsmen tried to back away, he followed them. He only conceded six runs from his final two overs, aided by a superb catch by Alex Hughes to dismiss Joe Mennie. It was a fine effort, as was Wayne Madsen's spell, which dragged it back when 350 looked on the cards at one point. 203-3 in 36 overs became 290-8, and that was a decent job.
It should have been within our compass and when Godleman and Slater yet again led off with a big stand, the chase looked well and truly on. Yet the advent of spin simply strangled the life out of the Derbyshire innings. It was a classic case of role reversal from Northampton - very much the biter bit. Should we have batted first on winning the toss? Only if we were again going to pick Hamidullah Qadri, whose control might have been useful.
Lancashire bowled 29 overs of spin and it killed our innings. A little bit of slap at the end of the innings from Hardus Viljoen made the scores closer than they really were, but we were well out of the running today.
Of course, the needless and crazy run out that cost us Wayne Madsen didn't help, given he is the best player of spin in the side by a country mile. No one else got going, nor, crucially, did they look like doing so, until Viljoen's late blast.
It is easy after the event, of course, but why he was kept back in the order, when the less dynamic Smit and Brodrick used up seven overs is a moot point. Hardus won't always make runs, but he will either do so quickly, or get out equally fast in the attempt. We needed quick runs and declined to use the man most likely to get them until too late.
At the end of it all we lost and must now go into the cauldron of Trent Bridge and win to progress in this competition.
It isn't impossible, but the small gains we could have made today - holding catches, being better in the field, not losing silly wickets - have got to be improved upon.
Otherwise a hiding awaits.